Check out this story from Alaska about a woman fending off a small grizzly bear that stalked her party on a hiking trail. Among that party of three was a dog – a husky – that snapped, growled and barked at the bear. While the story says it added to the chaos of the situation, it also probably helped add some teeth to the girl’s side of the fight.
We all like to think that our dog would fight to the death to defend us, but that might or might not be the case. While this husky was baring its teeth, it was also standing behind its owner. The owner might have taken the lead and stepped in front of the animal or it might have naturally gravitated behind her, snapping as the bear came close.
Either way, what do you think your dog would do in a similar situation? Would it charge in front and fight a grizzly bear to defend your life? What about a cougar? Coyote?
I’m pretty sure my bulldog, Hoss, would fight anything. He’s just ornery that way. I’m not so sure about Kona, the Lab. It’s a 50-50 proposition as to whether he would actually tangle with a bear. He’s gotten into it with a pit bull before, but a grizzly is another matter altogether.
Regardless, dogs can help provide a fight, or at least distraction, to the side of a human encountering predators in the wild. On the flip side, dogs can potentially attract those predators toward humans and cause an encounter. Dogs ranging ahead on a trail can encounter a bear, cougar, etc, and, when realizing they’re overmatched, run back to the owners and bring that animal right to their owners.